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NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) - A surge in Delta variant
infections sparked a broad sell-off on Wall Street on Monday as
investors feared renewed COVID-19 shutdowns and a protracted
All three major U.S. stock indexes ended the session sharply
lower, with the S&P and the Nasdaq suffering their largest
one-day percentage drop since mid-May.
The blue-chip Dow had its worst day in nearly nine months.
The risk-off sentiment also sent U.S. 10-year Treasury
yields sliding, pulling rate sensitive banks stock prices with
"Much of it is related to the Delta (variant)," said Paul
Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in
Chicago. "Theres some concern too that maybe the economy is not
going to open up as quickly as everyone thinks, and the big boom
that everyones expecting is going to be more of a pop than a
"Were woefully off of breakneck economic growth, and
judging by the activity were seeing were overestimating a lot
of the economic reports," Nolte added.
The highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, now the
dominant strain across the globe, has caused a surge in new
infections and deaths, nearly exclusively among unvaccinated
For an interactive graphic on worldwide vaccine deployment
and availability, click here https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/vaccination-rollout-and-access.
"Global availability of the vaccine has been an issue from
day one." Nolte said. "Thats been out there for a long time.
This is the latest iteration of that. We still have a long way
Travel and leisure stocks plunged, with the S&P 1500 Airline
index and the S&P 1500 Hotel and Restaurant index
losing significantly more ground than the broader market.
The CBOE Volatility index, a gauge of investor
anxiety, touched its highest level in two months.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell
724.56 points, or 2.09%, to 33,963.29, the S&P 500 lost
68.36 points, or 1.58%, to 4,258.8 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 152.25 points, or 1.06%, to 14,274.98.
All 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 closed deep in negative
Second-quarter reporting season is under way, with 41 of the
companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 90% have
beaten consensus estimates, according to Refinitiv.
Among high-profile names, Netflix, Twitter
, Johnson & Johnson, United Airlines and
Intel, along with a host of industrials from Honeywell
to Harley-Davidson are due to post results this
International Business Machines Corp results are
Analysts now see year-on-year S&P 500 earnings growth of 72%
for the April to June period, substantially higher than the 54%
annual growth forecast at the beginning of the quarter, per
Zoom Video Communications Inc announced a $14.7
billion all-stock deal to buy cloud-based call center operator
Five9 Inc. The teleconferencing services provider's
shares fell on the news, while Five9's jumped.
Tech tensions between the United States and China grew more
heated with the United States and its allies accusing Beijing of
a global hacking campaign while shares of Chinese tech firms
listed on foreign exchanges dropped amid fears of regulatory
U.S.-listed shares of China-based ride-hailing app Didi
Global extended their decline.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp;
Additional reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by